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Former SHS volunteer coach goes to court May 2
Jerry Jeff Pedersen, 28, a former assistant Sequim High School girls basketball coach, goes to Clallam County Superior Court on May 2 for arraignment following five alleged felony counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.
A Sequim Police investigation allegedly revealed that Pedersen, a volunteer coach since November 2012, was in a relationship with a 15-year-old player and that the relationship began more than five months ago.
Police interviewed high school staff and students and later obtained cell phone records and stored data that led to Pedersen’s arrest on Tuesday, April 1. He was released the next day.
Pedersen’s case was originally sent to the Clallam County prosector’s office with 11 Class C felony charges of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes via text messages, but the prosector’s office is attempting to charge him with five counts from March 1-23.
For each charge, Pedersen could face up to five years in prison. He must register as a sex offender if convicted.
Police followed up allegations that started with a parent, who reported the relationship to police on March 23, according to court documents. A day later, another student reported the relationship to Sequim High School and the police.
According to court documents, the student said Pedersen and the 15-year-old had sex, and he went to the girl’s house while her parents were out of town. The student also said she also saw the 15-year-old texting and using Snapchat, a video and photo application, with Pedersen.
Court documents indicate the 15-year-old voluntarily went to police on March 24 and said she became close with Pedersen during a basketball camp from July 21-26, 2013.
The student allegedly told police she and Pedersen would text several times a day from waking up to going to bed and was about life and school before turning into flirting, court documents state.
The 15-year-old said she and Pedersen sent nude photos to each other, according to the court documents.
She also told police that Pedersen did come to her house with her parents out of town to pick up a gift but they only hugged and did not have sex, the documents state.
SHS girls basketball head coach Evan Still, according to court documents, talked with the girl and Pedersen after seeing a text message on Pedersen’s phone two weeks before the allegations where they referred to each other as “babe.” Still reportedly told Pedersen the messages were inappropriate and fired him from coaching.
Still then spoke with the 15-year-old and told her to delete Pedersen’s contact information and block his number, according to court documents. The 15-year-old told police she and Pedersen decided to stop texting but started texting again a week later after he contacted her.
Court documents state she deleted text messagedsbetween her and Pedersen earlier when she heard police were at the high school and told Pedersen via text and blocked his number from her phone.
Another friend of the student spoke with police saying the 15-year-old denied a relationship with Pedersen to friends, but when confronted by the friend on whether or not the couple had sex, the 15-year-old said they did “technically” have sex but that they stopped, court documents state.